Winter brings events with lot's of hot cocoa bars. You see ideas for them everywhere on Pinterest and I almost went for the same for our winter wedding. But then I stumbled across an article for a mocktail bar. I loved the idea but wanted to simplify it to keep costs down a little and find something that paired well with cake. The idea for a winter sparkling cider bar was born. It is perfect for our family event, and would work well at any winter party, baby shower, wedding, or event.
Is a sparkling cider bar budget friendly?
Yes! In fact, when we were looking at different mocktails for ideas for winter drinks that would pair well with cake, we grew a little frustrated trying to find something that would be more cost effective for something like a party as a lot of the mocktails have a lot of different base ingredients like ginger beer for one mocktail or sparkling grape for another. It grew complicated and costly quickly. By sticking to one main ingredient, it was a lot more cost effective.
Can a sparkling cider bar be self serve?
Absolutely! The great thing about a sparkling cider bar is that it is set up very similar in fashion to a winter hot cocoa bar. You'll have the base (sparkling cider) out for guests to pour, then they can add different ingredients like fruit to mix into their drink. You can have simple instructions listed for 3-5 different drinks so they can quickly grab their desired mixins and keep the line moving.
HOW TO GET STARTED:
There are several simple ways to have the sparkling cider bar setup. The most cost effective way is to have glass pitchers full of sparkling cider or full size bottles of sparkling cider out for guests to pour. For a fun, festive presentation you could order small individual bottles of sparkling cider and allow guests to use those to pour their own drinks. If you're looking for a very elegant sparkling cider bar presentation, try TOST non alcoholic sparkling beverages. They come in elegant champagne looking bottles. Some companies even wrap the small bottles with your wedding date or event date like a baby shower.
You will want to have several smaller pitchers with whatever juices you choose to use as "mix ins." Grapefruit juice, orange juice, ginger ale and cranberry juice are the most common. For a more elegant presentation, use pulp free fresh squeezed juices.
Lastly you'll want to have garnishes. Fruit wedges, grated ginger, leaves, grated cinnamon, nutmeg, pomegranates and fresh cranberries all look and present well.
Individually Labeled Sparkling Cider 8oz bottles by Forever Wed Store
What Kind of Sparkling Cider Mocktails Could I Serve?
Here are several different fun and festive mocktails you could serve at your event all using sparkling cider as a base. Just choose 3-5 of these to serve and then print out some simple instructions for mixing! We even included some fun kid friendly ones if you are looking to have a kid's table at your event.
Non Alcoholic Sparkling Cider Mimosa by Watch What U Eat
Additional ingredients needed: orange juice, orange slices (optional)
Printable Instructions: Mix ½ sparkling cider with ½ orange juice for the perfect mimosa!
Additional Ingredients Needed: cranberry juice, fresh cranberries (optional)
Instructions: Mix equal parts cranberry juice and sparkling cider. Add fresh cranberries (if desired, optional)
Additional Ingredients Needed: Cranberry juice, grapefruit juice, fresh lime wedge, grapefruit wedge or fresh cranberries for garnish (optional)
Instructions: Mix equal parts of cranberry and grapefruit juice together. Add a splash of sparkling cider if desired. Garnish with fresh fruit (optional)
Additional Ingredients Needed: Cranberry juice, orange juice, orange slices or fresh cranberries (optional)
Instructions: Mix equal parts sparkling cider, cranberry juice and orange juice. Garnish with orange slices or fresh cranberries (optional).
Additional Ingredients Needed: Plum, fresh grated ginger
Instructions: See recipe
Additional Ingredients: Cinnamon or nutmeg, sage leaves
Instuctions: In a glass pour the apple cider. Garnish with cinnamon or nutmeg and sage leaves
Additional Ingredients Needed: Peach nectar, peach slices (optional)
Instructions: Mix together equal parts peach nectar and sparkling cider. Garnish with a peach slice if desired (optional).
Additional Ingredients Needed: tonic water, non alcoholic bitters, rock candy, lemon juice
Instructions: See recipe
Additional Ingredients Needed: Blue fruit punch, sprinkles
Ingredients: Mix together equal parts punch and sparkling cider. Garnish with sprinkles.
Additional Ingredients Needed: pomegranate juice, currant juice, pomegranate seeds
Instructions: See recipe
Additional Ingredients: Gummy bears, rock candy and pop rocks
Instructions: Have kids place several gummy bears or a rock candy stick or some pop rocks in the bottom of their glass. pour sparkling cider over the top. Enjoy!
Additonal Ingredients Needed: Cotton Candy, rainbow sprinkles
Instructions: Pour a glass of sparkling cider. Garnish with cotton candy and sprinkles.
Additional Ingredients Needed: Cranberry juice, grapefruit juice, peach juice, fruit slices (optional)
Instructions: Mix equal parts cranberry, grapefruit and peach juice. Add a splash of sparkling cider. Garnish with fruit slices if desired (optional).
Frost Bite Mocktail by the Little Kitchen
Additional Ingredients Needed: Lime juice, pineapple juice, mint leaves, blueberries
Instructions: Mix together 2 oz sparkling cider with 1 oz lime juice and 1 oz pineapple juice. Garnish with mint leaves and fresh blueberries if desired.